Doin the Do, Cuz Ya Gotta

Batman_social_constructionSocial Constructs! GAH! What is it: “Social constructionism or the social construction of reality (also social concept) is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world.”

WHOA, that’s a lot of words.

It’s the things you *gotta* do, because it is expected of you, because “that is just the way it’s done”.

Some of those things are really right on . . . pay the bills and you still have light, food, water and metal clay supplies.

Some of those things are really twitchy, like  . . . gotta have a degree to get a good job;  gotta get married and have babies; gotta . . . gotta . . . gotta.

In my world recently, my daughter has been getting her “acceptance” letters for colleges  . . . and the not-accepted letters . . . some by email – ah technology of the day. The good news is, she is pondering four “offers”.

Prior to these events, she walked through SAT hell and all the anxiety and self-doubt that went with it. And mommy too – driving her to the test site felt similar to driving her to the gallows.

Why are these moments challenging? Because, the truth of my daughter is not reflected in an SAT or an “acceptance” letter that proves she is somehow more worthy than another child. The truth of my daughter is reflected in the light of her eyes and the joy of her laughter.

Do I sound a little ugly about this? I feel a little ugly about this.

We have lived a roller coaster of: win-lose; happy-sad; devastated-thrilled; scared-emboldened. Her perception of her worth has gotten a little wrapped up in the responses she is getting. She is throwing it off  . . . and it is hard . . . ask me how I know.

So being the teen that she is, the off-beat conventions that her mother practices – positive thoughts; dancing when stressed; eating well; sleeping more; carrying around a talisman; taking time for mini-meditations; creating something; HAVING A BUSINESS – well “they don’t work mom!”

I get it. I did the same. Everything my wise mom said, when I was 18, was clearly BS as far as I was concerned.

We she was younger . . . when I was younger, the world seemed so much happier and safer and there was far less of a responsibility factor. As all children get older and more aware, the world seems a bit more daunting and conformity to construct seems easier.

Back in the day, I wasn’t ever allowed to speak the truth to my parents, as I saw it. Every rejection of their constructs was accompanied by passive-aggressive misbehavior :) I feel super grateful that I have good communication with both my children. We have very little of that hoohaa.

So here I am, this pretty non-traditional mom. I gave up a four year scholarship because I did not want to be a lawyer; I ran away from home when I was 18; I don’t have a college degree; I got married after I found out I was pregnant; I ended my marriage after 24 years; I am committed to being an artist and staying self employed AND I have this crazy notion that special adornments help people and that making things is good for the planet . . . that one person CAN make a difference . . . one person at a time.

She sees, right now, as I did when I was her age: “I gotta do well in school and on all these tests, and then I’ll get into a good school and then I will graduate and have a great job and all will be right with the world.” And she is a bit conflicted.

So with all the changes in the world since I graduated from HS in 1979, all the new technology, all the new thinking . . . we still see racism; homophobia; starving babies; water shortages; intense, divisive, political discord and, a social convention that says: “I gotta do well in school and on all these tests, and then I’ll get into a good school and then I will graduate and have a great job and all will be right with the world.”  She is soooo conflicted.

And where does her schism come in? She recognizes that, that isn’t who she is. On some level she knows better, and feels “trapped”. Her fear of breaking from the pack is so overwhelming that she tries to conform. I certainly tried when I was her age and I have subsequently tried to conform, over, and over again. If you feel like you are up against an entire population of conformists . . . what’s a girl to do.

We know better don’t we?  We adult people. LOL

My daughter is a powerfully spirited, talented, funny, critical thinking, loyal to her friends, fierce about the “injustices” she sees – young woman. I see the glimmer of resistance and I quietly laud her daily. I secretly put a rune into her backpack and I send her off into the world. Every time I hear her say “NO, that’s not ok”, I scream HUZZAH  . . . on the inside. She has to find her way.

Those that have broken from the pack – chosen to step into the courage of a calling deep within their soul – have brought many great things to our world. There are cures we would not have if a scientist had stayed silent or scared. There are technologies that help us in so many ways, that we would not experience if inventors had stayed silent and fearful. Amelia would not have flown . . . Sally Ride would not be the hero we know her to be.  President Obama, would not be the first black President of the United staes, had he not overcome the thoughts of conventions. We’ve come a long way baby . . .

So today, I grab my vessel and I remind myself of my intentions . . . to see more peace, to see more love . . .  be more peace and be more love. And as I hold my vessel pretty tightly in my grasp, I wonder what she will become when she breaks from the pack.

tumblr_lbrjoolSQu1qde31ko1_500Much love and light,IMG_4386

Make something everyday . . . even if it’s trouble.

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A Few Words on Adornment

DSC_0085You’ve all heard me talk about this a lot –

• Adornment speaks for the wearer, as well as communicates a bit about you, before you even speak ☺

• Adornment ought to have resonance and meaning – other wise why would you wear it ? You don’t leave the house with mud on your face.

• Adornment of meaning can certainly be whimsical and delightful and it is not required to be somber.

• Adornment can create community. Think of bumper stickers you have seen on cars, or that you put on your own car. Think of uniforms that you have seen. Maybe you have seen someone wearing a jewelry piece and you recognize it. In all cases you are perhaps drawn to that person because of a sense of belonging and simpatico – or not ☺

• Living a life of intention versus happenstance is super cool and having adornment that acts as a touchstone of that is even cooler. Imagine for a moment, driving in traffic and being able to grab a hard silver object with the word “love” tucked inside and suddenly you are calmer. Imagine for a moment, feeling really challenged in a situation and around your neck is a pendant that was made especially for you, with the intention of “Courage” radiating from it, and you feel more centered, instantly, as you touch it.

• Having a handmade, one of a kind, fine silver adornment, is just plain cool.

How would it feel to express yourself more fully? How would it feel to have a touchstone that brings a new energy to your moment? How would it feel to be reminded of your intentions for a day, a week, a month, a whole year?

Much Love and Light,

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When you are ready, I will be here.

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Runes and Chops • Chops and Runes • Oh My Intention

Runes

"Sowelo"

“Sowelo”

The Runes are a form of alphabet developed in Northern Europe, essentially they represent the Old Norse language used by the Scandinavian peoples up to about 700AD. The precise origins of the Runes is unclear and the subject of debate, however it is thought that the evolution of the German Rune alphabet was complete by 200AD. The word itself is thought to translate as ‘secret whisper’, another possible translation is from the German ‘raunen’ meaning ‘to carve’.

There are 24 Runic symbols in the Elder Futhark tradition. The Runes are were often connected with the Viking gods and mythology.

Symbolically, each Rune has a meaning, for example Fehu, the first Rune in the Futhark, is literally (and loosely) associated with cattle and wealth. In modern times, it has become a symbol of abundance and possibility in all areas of one’s life.

Beyond the ancient alphabet and written language the Runes provided, they were also used as talismans and divination in Pagan communities.

I love them as intention pieces. Each of the 24, has it’s own meaning, and serve as a focus.

I don’t use Runes (or other methods) for divination. It is my belief that tools such as Runes and Tarot cards are “translators” of our most inner energies – a glimpse into the subconscious if you will.

 Chops

"Love"

“Love”

Historically the “Chop” was and still is, a seal. Seal carving is an ancient art. Seals have become an indispensable item for signing important documents – the owners “signature” or family “crest” was carved in stone or wood. Over time, some seals are still created for their practical functions, and some seals are created purely as works of art.

The works of art are generally, single character symbols representing a state of being, eg: Harmony; Dream; Love; Good Fortune.

You can guess why I love these right?!?! Like the Runes, a single carved Chop “character” piece represents and draws to the bearer/wearer that state of being or intention.

I strongly believe in the value of living a life of intention. What many of us do not consider is that we already do . . . negatively. When we are angry/hurt/afraid and we strike out in some way, we are having a response and we intend to do some sort of “harm”, with our actions. However, when something good happens, we don’t consider that we may have intended that! We often think its “fate” or “good luck”, falling into a default Karmic mode, believing we ‘must’ve done something right for this good thing to happen’.

I suggest that to live a life in freedom from worry and relishing responsibility – understand this one idea and it all makes sense – where your attention goes, energy flows.

Own it! Something great happened, because you intended it. There are no accidents on either side of the scale. :)

So, are you looking for a quality, fine silver adornment – to create community, express yourself . . . stay focused on your path? The Rune and Chop adornments I make are hand-carved into fine silver, with you in mind, as is any custom piece I make. You are part of the process and we can work online to create the spectacular adornment that will suit your needs.

Poke around the site and touch base with me, I’d love to work with you. Live magykly . . . live intentionally.

Much Love and Light

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It’s March!

Faceted Aquamarine

Natural, faceted Aquamarine from my collection

Birthstone: Aquamarine   Astrological signs: Pisces and Aries

Aquamarine (aqua) is a Beryl, along with emerald.  Most usually found in Brazil, it is often blue to blue green in color.  It’s clarity and closeness to blue in color, makes it more valuable. Greenish ones don’t sell for as much.  I’ve always viewed the purchase of stones as a purely ‘eye of the beholder thing’.  The true investment in a gemstone is how you feel when you own it.

Stories of old, reference the stone as the ‘sea stone’ and it has long been considered the lucky stone for the sailor.

There is no lab grown aqua equivalent and so, from a metaphysical standpoint, a simulated would not be as valuable energetically. If you were to “use it” as quartz, which is what it is born from as a lab grown material, then that would work.

There are a few ideas on the uses of aqua, magykly/spiritually/energetically. Some believe it to be a throat Chakra stone and valuable for arthritis .  I was taught that aqua is a meditation stone and beneficial for clarity and calming the nerves. It has always worked well for me.

For our Pisces friends: yellow sapphire, topaz, red coral and pearl are your “lucky gems”. I’d recommend working with a blue topaz or an aqua.

For the Aries in the crowd: red coral, carnelian, pearl, yellow sapphire, golden topaz and garnet are your “lucky gems” Similarly for Pisces, I recommend aqua, and yellow sapphire – rooted in the winds, they are also excellent for both signs.

Ultimately, as always, I say, have what you love and what resonates for you.  While stones/crystals often have a connection to some energies, they can be cleansed and charged for what is important to you :).

A quick word about lab grown sapphire:  You know I use it often. I am mindful of where my stones come from and I am sensitive to energies of turmoil. So remember, lab sapphire and ruby have the same mineral and chemical components as the natural stone. So if a natural yellow sapphire seems crazy expensive to you, consider a lab grown stone and I do have some :).

I saw some pretty aqua’s at this site: Gem Select

Lastly, I have in stock, some natural rough aqua and a few faceted pieces and some really lovely simulated ones.  Let me know if you have an interest – additional pics and pricing by request :) phoenixmagyk@icloud.com

Much love and light,

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Natural Golden-Yellow Sapphire

Natural yellow/gold sapphire

Rough Aqua

“Rough” Aqua

Simulated Aqua

Simulated, faceted Aqua

 

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Amethyst . . . OH! IT’S PURPLE!

http://www.gemstonebuzz.com/meaning/amethyst

http://www.gemstonebuzz.com/meaning/amethyst

Amethyst…the beautiful  birthstone of February!

Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. I’ve always known it to be the stone of . . .’drunks and fools’ :)

While not suitable as a ‘fire in place’ stone, for metal clay work, it’s certainly awesome post fire.

“Amethyst, the gemstone believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, also is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Throughout history, the gemstone has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures.” http://www.americangemsociety.org/february-birthstone

Amethyst were found in Russia and featured in royal jewelry. Brazil is the primary source, these days, and it is also found in Zambia.

Benefit from the power of Amethyst jewelry

  • Spiritual insight
  • Promotes a sense of good judgment
  • Provokes honesty
  • Encourages a quiet and calm mind
  • Aids in meditation to find deep inner peace
  • Comfort at times of loss or grief
  • Aids dreaming, inspiration and intuition
  • Helps balance the crown (brow) chakra
  • www.crystal-cure.com

“Amethyst is a meditative and calming stone which works in the emotional, spiritual, and physical planes to provide calm, balance, patience, and peace.

Emotionally, amethyst is used in crystal healing to help heal personal losses and grief, bringing one gently past. Amethyst has a gently sedative energy that can promote peacefulness, happiness, and contentment. It also is said to bring emotional stability and inner strength. This stability and strength not only helps one hold firm in one’s life, but it can enhance flexibility and cooperation. To be flexible at need is a sure sign of strength.” http://www.meanings.crystalsandjewelry.com/amethyst/

Need an adornment with amethyst?  Want an adornment with amethyst?  Send me an email, I’m happy to assist you.

 

Much Love and light,

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January….still is

AND the birthstone for January is Garnet!

Generally purchased in it’s deep red color, did you know Garnet comes in other colors?

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“Garnet, the birthstone for January,  signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend.  Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed.  References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays jewelry.  Garnet is the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of tsavorites.  Today, the most important sources for garnet are Africa, Sri Lanka, and India.” – See more at: http://www.americangemsociety.org/january-birthstone

And straight from www.crystal-cure.com:

Benefit from the power of Garnet jewelry

  • Brings light and hope to your lifes path
  • Helps in situations of crisis
  • Fortifies courage to overcome problems
  • Opens the door for sharing with others
  • Promotes self-confidence
  • Strengthens courage, hope and trust
  • Balances the Root (Base) Chakra

My mother’s birthday is in January.  I remember when I was growing up, she had the most extraordinary butterfly shaped ring….all rhodolite garnets, which have a little more pink in them.  Rhodolite garnet is my favorite color.

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Tanzanian R-Garnet, photo courtesy of: gemhunters.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course I have some loose Garnets available for purchase, from the Phoenix vault.  If you are interested, please send me an email: delia@phoenixmagyk.com

Much Love and Light….and happy January!

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Whatchooo Waitin’ For . . .?

waiting-for-a-picnic2So I sent out this manifesto to my list of friends and family, and decided it would make a great Blog post

January 9, 2015
HUZZAH!  Lovers of Lovelies,
It’s a NUDGE . . . with some story.

****The deadline for registration, for the Magyk Mini-Intro is January 13th – 9am**** Click “MINI-INTRO” to register.
SO! I was having a conversation with someone about the 8 week (online) program I’ve created. “Sally”…yes, we will call her Sally . . . Sally said that a metal clay teacher had been living in her area and taught classes for the last six years and recently moved. She said that she “wished I’d taken a class sooner” and then shared all of reasons why she might not be able to take the class I am offering.  So I said “Sally, do you really want to wait another six years before you take advantage of this opportunity?” Sally got very quiet  . . . and then signed up. Why because she was tired of “wishing” . . . of waiting.

Are you getting my drift here?

I researched metal clay for a year before I finally took the plunge. I was afraid I’d do it wrong, afraid people would laugh at me and terrified I’d burn the house down. And then I did.

I waited about a month before I torch fired my first piece, because I was scared.  My daughter actually fired the very first Phoenix designed piece – she was 10.  What could I have accomplished in the month I waited in all that fear?

I used to wait until I was “in the mood” to sit down and create . . .until I closed my business, ended my 25 year marriage and my sister passed away – within a two month time frame.

Two painful months later, I went into my shop for something, and the next thing I knew… I was sitting and making and I was calm and centered and focused.

How much sooner could I have felt calm and centered and focused? How much sooner could I have recognized the healing that comes from creation?

Mmmmmm WHAT are you waiting for? The time to be right? To be in the mood? Scared you’ll do it wrong? Scared you’ll burn the house down?

So what if you walked through all those fears and just took the plunge? Where could you be during the “wait time” if you were not waiting?

I’ve been dreaming, plotting and planning an online program for over a year. I hinted at it in June of last year. I took a dip with the Private Coaching programs and now I am going big with a group program.  There are 1000’s of things that could go wrong…and a million things that can go right. AND I recently got a “thank you – for not waiting any more”

You are welcome! Life is too short to withhold gifts that can change peoples’ lives.

me-in-celebrateCome play with me. Play in the Mini-Intro at Crated; Take the 8 week program (mostly online); go BIG and consider private coaching – AND QUIT waiting. Stop “wishing”. Take the plunge and make your life, look like you want it to look like. Be daring, be bold, be the change you want to see – let’s burn the house down together.

Lastly, I saw this shortly after my conversation with “Sally” and it says a lot:
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Much Love and Light,

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BAH Humbug on Black Friday

. . . . and all the rest of that hooooohaaaaa

On Saturday, November 29th, I will be sharing new work and gifts (with purchase), In celebration of you honoring Small Business Saturday and in honor of the enormous accomplishment having a small business is. YEAH BABY!  Stop in to the Phoenix Magyk/Bellandaria store…at Crafted Port LA!!  WOOHOO!!

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Many of you know already….and in case you don’t  – I don’t *do* black Friday on any level.  AND my store at Crafted will be closed.  My lovely work wife will be celebrating the holiday with her family, out of state and Friday the 29th is my daughter’s 17th birthday.

I’ve not decorated the store for Christmas either.  That won’t happen until after Thanksgiving . . .please . . .thank you.

In all my 54 years, I have never gotten up at some unspeakable hour the day after Thanksgiving to go shopping. It just isn’t in keeping with who I am. doc4cf6ceeac31ee8124543871

I also believe that the Lovers of Lovelies that I play with, don’t do that either. If you love and appreciate fine art and handmade treasures – you get it and I just know that I will see you on Saturday and we will have a blast!

So stay home, relax, enjoy your family and friends.

Shop small this year….and every year. Know that a “sale” is not always a good thing. Recognize that a handcrafted treasure at the price shown is a treasure of a lifetime and a gift that you will feel so excited to share.

Much Love and light,

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Imperial Topaz

A little known fact. Imperial Topaz is the birthstone for November – not Citrine.  Because imp-topazof the rarity of the color variation of Topaz, many commercial jewelers have convinced people that thier birthstone is Citrine.  It’s also less expensive.

Isn’t that a gorgeous stone?

While pure topaz is actually clear, imperial topaz is orange or yellow. It can also  be found in a pink color, but only very, very rarely. While some believe that topaz is one of the stones in the Bible’s book of Exodus describing the breastplate of a high priest, others think that the translation has been altered enough that the stone was something else.

Large deposits of topaz are actually, naturally found in the USA! However, imperial topaz comes only from Brazil, which makes it more rare and costly, although some recently-discovered orange and pink topaz in Pakistan is being considered imperial as well. Topaz is an igneous rock, which means that it’s formed by cooling magma (yep, we’re talking volcano stones here, people)!

If you’re a bit stagnant right now in life, an imperial topaz piece might be helpful. The wearer or holder of an imperial topaz stone can perhaps expect the following:

Encourage self realization and confidence
Impart strength to quiet wild emotions
Banish bad dreams
Bestow charisma on its user
Topaz draws love to its wearer
Combined with tiger eye, topaz [can] bring wealth and money

Healing properties of Imperial Topaz:
Stimulate the appetite
Aid in nervous exhaustion
Activate life force and metabolism”
http://www.minerals.net/mineral/topaz.aspx

Activate my life force? Yes please!

Next month we’ll talk about Zircon – blue . . . which is the birthstone for September, not blue topaz :)

Be well,

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*Note: Many thanks to my friend Morgan Culture, who wrote most of this for me, while I was under the influence of pain meds ….recovering from a broken ankle.  MUAH Morgan!!

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Why Art Matters

8227_mWhen I am in a class, and just as often, when I am in my store, I am compelled to remind people:

“You are already creative, even if it isn’t “art” (art being very broad and subjective). You wake up every morning and decide, with the resources at hand, what your day is going t look like; what you will eat; what you will wear; how your schedule is going to go. All those decisions are about intention and you are being creative. I see you as an artist already”

A more important question might be, “why does it matter?”

With all the things we need to do in a day/week/month/year, with all the chaos going on in the world right now . . . why does it matter if I wear something beautiful or if I make something beautiful?

It seems a long standing “rule” that paintings and sculpture are self -explanatory in this regard. Fabulous art evokes thought and feeling.

“More specifically, there is evidence that engagement with artistic activities, either as an observer of the creative efforts of others or as an initiator of one’s own creative efforts, can enhance one’s moods, emotions, and other psychological states as well as have a salient impact on important physiological parameters.2http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2804629/

 Many of us know that. I suspect I am ‘preaching to the choir’. There have been more studies done in recent years than I can keep up with, and with art and music programs being ditched in schools across the country, we are seeing effects that are unwelcome. Art and music activities have proven to increase academic performance, not to mention overall well being.

I believe that jewelry art is just as evocative and just as valuable as painting and sculpture. Would that surprise you? :)

Making things is good for the soul and good for those who observe as well.

Beyond the story I share of how/why I started this work, vs. traditional metal-smith, is the part where I was able to (and still do) retreat into this work when things are off balance/stressful/sad/scary.

Being able to sit, and be still and make something brings peace and relaxation – more often than those moments when I throw my head loop at the wall. It really is my “go-to”. It is my form of meditation and I get ideas and “answers” all the time.

Challenging events happen for people all the time. They can be DEFCON 5 or a DEFCON 1 or maybe just several blips on a personal Richter scale. It’s how we respond to those events that makes a difference in our state of being.

I have, for the most part, grown past my default of victimhood, curling up in a ball and crying all day. Those actions worked for a while . . . until they did not. I still do them sometimes, like when my computer got stolen. It is done with the understanding of releasing energy, not that it will fix the situation.

I’m a mom, an artist, a teacher, a business owner. In moments that seem momentous, I must still move forward . . . even if, imperfectly :)

When all else fails, I make something.

I got a newsletter article in my inbox this morning. Below is a quote from Sara Arey, the author. Sara is an exceptional human, business coach and my mindset coach. I have learned a great deal from her in the last few months and I thought this bit was neat.

“Finding your story is great, but like so very many things in life and in business, it’s not the end result that matters as much as the process you go through in getting there.  What you learn and become along the way.” -Sara Arey http://www.refutureyourlife.com/whats-your-story/

What’s my goal here?

To have you consider the value of making something – daily, and of course for you to consider purchasing handmade treasures.

Art is more than something cool to look at. Adornment has meaning and expression. It can create community or discreate it. It tells people a bit about you. It translates your inner being.

Pinky-and-the-Brain-imageYou know that my master-plan for how to take over the world is to wave my wand and convince you all that doing what you love, and doing it often, will bring about world peace. I suspect things might seem a little boring at first, what with nothing seemingly substantial to talk about, but I’m sure there will still be actresses that do major cosmetic surgery that we can converse about. MUAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I teach metal clay arts. I happen to think metal clay is the neatest thing since sliced bread. I also believe that it provides solace for the soul and an opportunity for growth. My work in this medium has been an incredible journey. Not only has it brought me centeredness when I needed it, I have also learned so much about myself, communities I play in, and other humans. I would go so far as to say, I am a much different person than I was in 2007.

Weather you play with me in an eight-week class, a Mostly OnLine program, or a three-hour mini-adventure. You are going to walk away with far more than technique. You will experience what it is like to have intention in your art and you will realize the healing and meditative benefits of the work, AND, you will have created some beautiful, awesomesauce, fine silver adornment in the process.

Honestly though, if you don’t want any of that extra woowoo, hoohaa, you don’t wanna take a class with me. I’m okay with that.

When you consider purchasing something from me, it’s more than a “bauble”. It’s handcrafted art and it resonated for you, or you would not have looked at it. Resonance is meaning. It’s that energetic moment when you catch your breath a little. It lights your soul. It might even assist you in staying on track with your intentions.

"All Manifests From Thought"

“All Manifests From Thought”

Again, if that’s not what you’re after in your adornment . . . I’m not the artist for you.

I found a couple more articles that I liked on the broader topic. You can check the out.

•“Why Art Matters” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mary-boone/why-art-matters_b_151428.html

•”Why Do the Arts Matter? Art Creates Community” http://artistthink.com/2013/02/23/why-do-the-arts-matter-art-creates-community/

When you are ready to learn more about the classes I teach and the work I create, send me an email: delia@phoenixmagyk.com.

Much Love and Light,

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